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Top 7 Reasons Employees Decline a Relocation Assignment

Posted on: October 23rd, 2022

According to the 48th Annual Atlas Corporate Relocation Survey 2015, completed by over 490 business decision-makers over the course of two months, the following are the top 7 reasons employees declined a relocation assignment in 2014.


 Family Issues/ Ties: 67%

The fact that family and friends are the #1 reason an employee will decline relocation is not very surprising. It can take years to find the right schools for your kids, locate the perfect neighborhood and buy your dream home. It’s much easier to say, “no, thanks” to the new position than it is to start over in a new city.


Spouse’s/Partner’s Employment: 58%

A corporate relocation means a lot of change for your employee and often even bigger changes for their spouse or partner. Most companies do not allocate any resources to help the partner/spouse find a job in their new city, and pressing “pause” on their career to allow their spouse/partner to accept relocation is not always the smartest business move for the family.


Personal Reasons (non-disclosed): 45%

Many people have acceptable reasons to decline a relocation assignment that they do not feel comfortable disclosing to their employer. Some of these reasons may include mental disorders like depression or anxiety that would be antagonized during the moving process and require they to find new doctors and therapists (a very stressful process).

Another non-disclosed personal reason someone may decline relocation is his or her involvement with other organizations besides your company. This could mean a second job, involvement in clubs or classes, city-specific career goals (choosing to stay in NYC for their chance at Broadway), etc.


No Desire to Relocate: 39%

Sometimes, the offer simply isn’t worth the time, stress and planning that goes into a relocation. Your employee is happy with their current position and doesn’t see the point in uprooting their and their family’s lives to move for a new job.


Housing/Mortgage Concerns: 37%

This one is incredibly prevalent among homeowners. Making the decision to sell your home in the common two-week decision-making window can be extremely overwhelming and cause your employee to run for the hills. When people buy a house, they assume they will be living there for a long period of time. Make sure your relocation offer is substantial enough to compensate for the stress and anxiety that comes with selling your home.


Cost of Living in a New Location: 37%

If an employee is stationed at your facility in Ohio and is transferred to San Francisco, it’s to be expected that their cost of living will increase significantly. Make sure their new position takes that cost of living change into consideration when discussing salary, and make it worth their while.


Job Security Concerns: 20%

If your employee has a clearly mapped out 5-year career plan, and that plan didn’t include being relocated, they may decline your relocation offer to stick to their schedule. Many people would rather stay with the “known” than take a chance and change the course of their career on short notice.



At WGMS, we make sure the corporate relocation of your employees is as seamless as possible regardless of industry or company size. By properly preparing employees for relocation by setting their expectations regarding housing and infrastructure, as well as training in cultural norms and language acquisition, relocating locally, nationally or internationally can be a breeze. Call 312-568-1249 for more information.

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